Members of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community came together this holiday season to show their appreciation for veterans. Home to the third largest veteran population in the United States, Fayetteville/Cumberland County is committed to supporting the heroes who fought and continue to fight to defend our everyday freedoms. Writing thank you notes at Thanksgiving, providing hot meals at Christmas and dedicating the entire month of May to celebrating Memorial Day are just a few ways the community honors veterans during the holidays and throughout the year.
The Army’s Army, a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the community’s military and their families, has been instrumental in leading the way to lend support to veterans. In November, Army’s Army members wrote more than 100 personal thank you notes to veterans, which were distributed in holiday gift bags on Thanksgiving at the Fayetteville VA Hospital. From December 7-30, the Army’s Army provided volunteers to serve lunch and dinner to the public and residents, many of who are veterans, at the Salvation Army on Alexander Street.
“We are pleased to participate in any events that honor our veterans,” says John Meroski, chairman of the Army’s Army. “Implementing various programs for the military and veterans in our community is just a small way we can pay tribute to the brave men and women who have put everything on the line to defend our freedoms.”
Fayetteville/Cumberland County’s acts of appreciation for its veteran community are not exclusive to the holiday season. During 31 Days of Glory in May, the area’s month long recognition of Memorial Day, veterans are honored at events throughout the celebration culminating with the Society of Patriots’ placement of more than 2,000 flags at 12 cemeteries in honor of veterans buried there. The Society of Patriots, a group of businesses and organizations dedicated to bringing the community’s patriotic spirit to life, also perform this annual flag-placing ritual on Veterans Day. Veterans Day in Fayetteville also features an annual parade with active duty military, veterans, heritage groups, JROTC units, military service organizations, and military bands participating in a march through the city’s streets to honor those who sacrificed so much for our country.
Fayetteville recently got the attention of Where to Retire magazine as an ideal location for retired military personnel, naming it one of eight 5-Star Towns for Military Retirement in the November/December 2009 issue. The area’s patriotic support, cultural and recreational activities, veteran population and contributed to Fayetteville’s selection to the list.
These are just a few of the activities currently in place that honor the veteran community in Fayetteville/Cumberland County. With the area attracting more and more former military members, the community continues to implement additional programs to make veterans residing in America’s Hometown feel safe, welcome and appreciated.